Charges filed against a 20-year-old Minneapolis man this week allege a gang known as the Irv Boys is responsible for over 140 burglaries in communities across the metropolitan area.
The gang targeted homes in more than 36 cities this spring and early summer, including incidents in Savage, local authorities said.
Nijel Jaquan Meux, 20, was charged with felony first-degree burglary in late October in Dakota County District Court following an investigation by the Eagan Police Department.
His residence in Minneapolis is known as a hangout for the gang, according to the charging documents.
Savage police reported in May six juveniles had been arrested following a police chase from Savage to Crystal. At the time, the six were considered suspects in a string of residential burglaries and motor vehicle thefts in the city.
Two juveniles connected to the Irv Boys were cited for tampering with a motor vehicle following the incident, Savage Police Detective Sgt. Mike Schiltz said. Other charges are pending against juvenile suspects, according to Savage Police Detective Gabe Kerkaert.
Kerkaert said the pending charges relate to four separate instances in May. They include first-degree burglary, felony theft of a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property, felony financial transaction card fraud and misdemeanor identity theft and went to the Scott County Attorney’s Office for review.
One juvenile suspect has already been charged in Scott County with theft and receiving stolen property, both felonies, Simon said.
Prior Lake Police Cmdr. Brad Cragoe said his department doesn’t have enough evidence to say for certain whether or not the group was connected to burglaries in Prior Lake, but he didn’t rule it out.
The series of burglaries and motor vehicle thefts also affected communities north of the river, such as Victoria.
According to the criminal complaint against Meux, Eagan police responded to a report of an abandoned vehicle in the roadway shortly after 4 a.m. April 17.
The keys to the vehicle, a purse and two credit cards belonging to the vehicle’s registered owner were found nearby. Officers went to the car owner’s home and found the garage door and a service door between the garage and home open.
The homeowners told police their vehicle in the garage and wheelchair-accessible van from the driveway were both missing. One homeowner said he might’ve left the van unlocked with the garage door opener inside.
The homeowners then discovered cell phones, a laptop and a purse containing a wallet missing from inside the home.
Hours later, Minneapolis police reported they located the stolen van and had a suspect in custody.
A search of a phone left inside the van revealed messages between three juveniles making plans for the burglary and a video of the suspects inside the vehicle.
Police said Meux later admitted he drove three juveniles to the residence on the night of the burglary in a stolen vehicle. He said he acted as lookout while the others went inside.
A picture of Meux was captured by the stolen laptop’s security system as he tried to turn it on.
Reporter Meg Britton-Mehlisch contributed to this report.